Well, our entire body consists of nearly about 640 muscles. Some of the main muscles of the back include lattissimus dorsi, levator scapulae, serratus posterior, etc.
When back muscles are strained our movement becomes restricted and it also affects our lifestyle.
Relief for Back Muscle Strain
The appropriate treatment for back spasm caused by a strained back muscle, is the application of ice for about 20 minutes at a time. This ice application should be made at least four to five times each day, which will help flush out the toxins from the inflamed muscle.
Cold application such as an ice pack, limits the swelling, as well as improving blood flow. It also provides an analgesic effect, making the affected area numb, so that one does not feel the pain. However, one should remember that, ice should never be applied directly to the skin on the affected area, rather be wrapped in a ice bag or a towel.
Rest is the ideal choice at least for the first two to three days. It is recommended to however, maintain some degree of mobility. Though painful, walking for a minute or two at frequent intervals each day will help in the prevention of other muscles from getting tightened caused by nil activity.
The Elevated Position of the Legs
Legs should be kept in an elevated position, in order to take pressure off of the back. The ideal position for most sufferers is to lie on a flat surface with laps bent at a right angle with the lower part of legs resting on an elevated top, like a chair or a side table. The legs may also be elevated on pillows if lying on floor is a problem.
The Use of an Anti-inflammatory Drug
Sometimes an anti-inflammatory drugs provide quick relief from the pain caused by back strain. In some patients, a simple muscle relaxant may prove to be sufficient.
Gentle back and leg stretching exercises should be tried as one improves, which are specifically designed for back strain. One such effective exercise includes laying on the floor with the knees bent and the soles of the feet placed on the floor. A knee should be grabbed, and pulled gently towards the chest.
It should be held for five to 10 seconds in this position, and then released to the original position. Then the same should be repeated with the other knee. This should be repeated for five to 10 times on each side.
Having a warm water bath or keeping the entire body soaked in the warm water tub can help one feel relaxed, and also have a smoothening effect. Similarly, a warm water shower improves blood supply in the body which provides relief to the strained back muscles.
It is always essential to maintain the correct posture whether while at work, or while commuting. It is also recommended that, one should not sit in the same position for a very long duration, to avoid and relieve back muscle strain. Maintenance of the right posture, along with stretching the body at least two to three times each day can help one achieve some relief from the pain, caused by back strain.
These include, meditation & deep breathing exercise which can provide relaxation to the strained back as it reduces tension between muscles.
The Herbal Way
These therapies include herbal medicines, which are administered either orally; or oils which are recommended only for external application, and these may be either Siddha or Ayurvedic medicines. Similarly, daily consumption of chamomile tea is also effective in a quick recovery from back muscle strain.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method of treatment of back strain, which involves insertion of very fine acupuncture needles into specific locations on the body. This acupuncture gives relief from pain by releasing natural analgesic opioids, calming down the sympathetic nervous system by sending signals, and and by releasing certain neurochemical substances and hormones. By reducing tesnsion between muscles and aiding the healing by release of natural alagesics by the body, strain in back muscles can be healed quickly and effectively.
Plenty of Drinking Water
The patient should drink plenty of water, as this will fasten the process of healing. Drinking of plenty of water helps to keep the muscle hydrated, and thus helps in the excretion of the toxins from the body.
Thus aiding the relief process and helps heal the strained back muscles at a more rapid pace.
Consumption of a Diet Rich in Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Dietrich in fresh fruits and vegetables is a rich source of anti-oxidants, which prevent as well as reduce the damage caused by free radicals. Hence, fresh fruits which are referred to as alkaline foods also help to augment the process of healing in the strained back muscle.
Hence, patients with strained back muscles are recommended to consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables such as, apples, cabbage, mushrooms, etc. Consumption of other foods like, salmon and tuna, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids promotes the process of healing in the muscles. These omega-3 fatty acids increase the blood circulation, and thus cause reduction in the inflammation in the strained back muscle.
Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium
Consumption of magnesium-rich foods are recommended, as it helps in a quick recovery from a strained back muscle. The recommended daily dose of magnesium is 300 mg for a woman, and 400 mg for a man, respectively. Similarly calcium supplements help in the maintenance of muscle contraction, and therefore a quick recovery from a strained back muscle.
It is generally recommended to avoid foods like tomatoes and vinegar, which are rich in acid content, because these foods cause hindrance to the process of calcium absorption. Bananas, which are rich in potassium should be consumed at least one per day.
Consumption of Proteins
Eggs are a very good source for the building blocks of our body, the proteins. One egg provides approximately 7 mg of proteins, which helps to repair the tiny muscle tears in a strained calf muscle. Hence, consumption of foods rich in proteins is recommended for a quick recovery.